My little boy is sick — high temperature, lethargic on the couch, refusing ice cream kind of sick, and you know what I thought as soon as I realized that he is not feeling well? “Wow, now I can actually stay home with him until he gets better.”
As a working mom I have done what a lot of us do, ignore little symptoms and hope and pray that you can make it through a day at work before you get the call that your child should be picked up and cannot return to pre-school for 24 hours. I am so guilty of doing this. Of course, if my child was really sick (like having hand, foot and mouth like my son had last summer), I would of course stay home with him without a second thought, but sometimes kids have slight ailments. A “little” throw up could be classified as an upset stomach due to spoiled milk. A low grade fever could possibly be teething (even when they are well past the teething age).
I admit that I have made many a justification as to why my child is not REALLY sick and could theoretically still go to school. It sounds so horrible, but I have been burned many times by a child who seems too sick to go to school at 7:30 am and by 10 am they have been healed miraculously and are now bouncing off the walls requiring my undivided attention when I am supposed to be working from home.
And let’s not even talk about how the gloves can come off with your spouse when you are trying to decide who should stay home with the sickling. In my house, because my job was so flexible and my husband’s job is so demanding, it was never much of a discussion if I would stay home or if my husband would. My husband would throw up a well sanitized hand as he waved bye-bye on his way to work.
So today, instead of pulling into the pre-school parking lot and giving my son some ibuprofen mixed with a prayer that he is able to make it through a few short hours of school while I am at work, I get to stay home with my him until he is 100% better. Or, until he runs this Nurse Mommy thing into the ground, whichever comes first.
Being a stay at home mommy does make things a little easier sometimes.